UNHCR concerned over recent attacks aimed at foreigners including refugees in Gauteng and Eastern Cape Provinces

2 June 2013 | Uncategorized

Pretoria – UNHCR concerned over recent attacks aimed at foreigners including refugees in Gauteng and Eastern Cape Provinces

UNHCR is extremely concerned over the recent spate of violence in Gauteng and Eastern Cape Provinces affecting foreigners, including refugees and asylum-seekers. Since last week, In Gauteng, foreign-owned shops were attacked in several locations in Sebokeng, Evaton, Orange Farm and Lakeside townships. According to the information received, the attacks started off as service delivery protests which  then transformed into attacks of foreign-owned shops.

In Diepsloot township, violence and looting began on Sunday evening when a Somali man, allegedly shot and killed two  Zimbabweans following a dispute. Foreign-owned shops were the prime targets though other local  shops were also looted.

In Port Elizabeth, Boyzen Park area, about 20 foreign owned shops were also looted, during the same period. The police however managed to contain the violence.

The UNHCR supported outreach team has been monitoring these areas and working closely with SAPS to try to prevent more violence.

UNHCR has taken note of the statements made by the South African Minister of Home Affairs during her recent address to Parliament, and by the African National Congress and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) condemning violence. UNHCR appreciates the efforts made by the City of Johannesburg, and the South African Police Services to restore order and provide safety to the victims.

“While we appreciate the efforts made so far, UNHCR is calling on the Government to do all it can to prevent any future  incidents,” said UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Clementine Nkweta-Salami.

For further information on this topic please contact:

In Pretoria, Tina Ghelli, on mobile +27 82 770 4189

Regional Office RSAPR@unhcr.org Tel (27) (0) 12 392 1612

For Southern Africa www.unhcr.org Fax (27) (0)12 354 8390